How to Fix the Chimes on an Old Clock to Coincide With the Correct Time

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How to Fix the Chimes on an Old Clock to Coincide With the Correct Time
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Antique clocks are beautiful pieces to add to your home, but that doesn't mean you won't face chiming clock problems. Some of the most common are that these clocks often need adjusting to tell the right time, or the clock chimes wrong hours. They're imperfect human creations, and unlike our smartphones and devices, the time isn't automatically set by satellite. Luckily, it isn't difficult to adjust the time if your clock chimes the wrong hour.

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Clock Chimes Wrong Hour: How to Repair

Fixing a wind-up mantel clock with chimes is easier than you might expect. If your old clock uses a pendulum, stop the pendulum before making adjustments. You can do this now before beginning the repair.

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Wind the clock's minute hand very gently in a clockwise motion until the clock begins chiming the hour. Stop as soon as you hear the first chime and write down exactly where the minute hand is located at that moment. Listen for the number of times the chimes sound. This number is where the hour hand should be. For example, if the clock chimes three sounds, the hour hand should be on the three. If it is not in the correct position, move it gently in a clockwise direction until it's properly situated.

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Adjust the Minute Hand

If your minute hand is in an incorrect position, it needs to be adjusted. It's incorrect unless the clock began to chime when the minute hand was at the top, pointing to the number 12. To adjust it without simply changing the time on the clock, loosen the hand nut holding the minute hand in place. You may need to use needle-nose pliers if it is very tight. Once the hand is off, use the pliers to move the center bushing of the minute hand to the correct time.

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Reinstall the minute hand and the hand nut and tighten. Wind the minute hand slowly as you did before in a clockwise direction until it reaches the top of the hour, pointing at the 12. The clock should now chime the correct number of times following where the hour hand points.

Method Two: Wind the Hands

There is another option for making this repair. While it is simpler than the other method, it won't always work. Also, you must be very careful not to bend the hands of your clock.

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Instead of winding the minute hand, wait for your clock to chime the hour naturally. You'll have to pay attention to when your clock chimes and plan to be present for the next one. Count the chimes and gently move the hour hand into the correct position. For example, if the clock chimes three times, move the hour hand to the three.

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Now, your clock is chiming correctly, but it tells the wrong time. To make this adjustment, wind the minute hand clockwise until it shows the present time.

Simple Clock Maintenance

Antique clocks are beautiful, but they also require routine care. You can periodically check the time against a more accurate clock, such as the one on your phone, and make those minor adjustments to the time. These adjustments will keep it running and chiming accurately.

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Keep your clock out of direct sunlight and in a temperature-controlled, relatively dry place in your home. Make sure the clock is on a level surface to protect the mechanisms. Every few years, you may want to schedule a professional to come and clean your clock or have him teach you how to do it.

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